Social Venture Partners (SVP) Minnesota has selected Cookie Cart as its newest grantee. Twin Cities-based nonprofit Cookie Cart will receive hundreds of hours of pro bono business consulting and up to $75,000 in grants over three years from SVP Minnesota. The pro bono hours will focus on projects to build Cookie Cart’s capacity and sustainability as they expand to their new St. Paul location.
“After a highly competitive process with a due diligence team of 20 SVP partners, we voted to support Cookie Cart at Pitch Night on November 30, 2017,” said Ann Herzog-Olson, executive director of SVP. “Cookie Cart’s expansion to St. Paul provides an exciting opportunity to work with a growing and promising nonprofit to help them double their cookie revenue, and identify best practices and operations that will allow them to engage more under-served teens.”
Cookie Cart provides teens 15 to 18 years old with lasting and meaningful work, life and leadership skills through experience and training in an urban nonprofit bakery. Young people growing up in the Twin Cities’ low-income neighborhoods are faced with limited opportunities to gain the foundational skills necessary for success in the workplace. Cookie Cart is the largest year around employer of teens in Minneapolis. The Cookie Cart model focuses on engaging teens in the daily bakery operations and cookie production, as well as completing interactive workshops and community engagement activities. Through those experiences, they build the interpersonal, communication, and critical thinking skills that prepare them for success as they move into future careers.
SVP Minnesota celebrated 15 years in 2017 and has provided over $7 million in pro bono consulting and $2 million in cash grants to 55+ qualifying nonprofits since 2002. This mix of time, money, and expertise improves impact and sustainability for the nonprofits, while building strong and lasting relationships between SVP partner donors and the recipient organizations.